All Interior Design students not owning a laptop computer with the specifications listed below will need to purchase one by the Fall semester of the second year (once accepted into the program following First Year Review). This allows students to work on their own computer in studio classes. It is strongly advised students NOT purchase a new computer ahead of the recommended time, as requirements constantly change with software and technology upgrades. Our current advice for laptop purchases includes the following minimum requirements:
Processor: Latest multi-Core Intel i-Series, Xeon®, or AMD® equivalent with 2.5 GHz or Higher as a minimum requirement and 3+ GHz processor as recommended. NOTE: AutoCAD 2024 does not support ARM Processors on Windows devices.
Memory: 16GB minimum (32GB or higher is recommended.)
Hard Drive: SSD (Solid State Drive) storage of 512GB minimum. Note: High-resolution images or 3D files can take considerable disk space where 250GB of space might not be enough. Program Revit ver. 2024 requires 30GB of free disk space, while program Lumion requires 75GB of free disk space; see manufacture recommendations.
Display: 1920 x 1080 (higher resolution recommended but might impact performance. Note: Revit 2024 4K monitor is maximum supported resolution).
Note: Most laptop vendors have integrated graphic/video cards instead of a dedicated graphics/video card, but we recommend purchasing a laptop with a dedicated graphics/video card as it will improve computer performance as your design work and presentations grow in complexity. Lumion is often one of the most graphic-processor-demanding rendering programs and could be a good gauge when anticipating your future needs. The Lumion program requires 6GB of graphic card memory as a minimum requirement, 10GB or more as recommended, and 16GB or more as high-end requirements; see Lumion requirements link below.
Pointing Device: external mouse with at least 3 buttons.
Optional: 3-year warranty / protection plan.
MAC vs. PC: With the current state of software, the Department recommends purchasing a Windows-based computer. This is largely due to the fact that Autodesk Revit does not run directly on a Macintosh operating system. This means that students who choose to purchase MAC computer will be responsible configuring their Apple device with virtualization software (Parallels / VMWare) or with Bootcamp (Please note, Bootcamp is not compatible on Arm based Apple devices) to allow use of Windows environment; additional cost will be needed for virtualization and Windows licenses. The decision is the students to make, and students will be responsible for ensuring the computer’s compatibility, installation, and configuration as per Autodesk Revit requirements. The faculty will not be able to troubleshoot student’s personal MAC computers.
We advise students not to purchase the software required by the Department until fully accepted into the program (after a successful First Year Review). Students should have computers purchased prior to enrollment in Studio I (or during the first few weeks of the semester).
Students will be expected to be familiar with the Adobe Creative Suite during the first-year classes. An active subscription should be purchased by the entrance into Studio I; Adobe provides student subscription discounts. Autodesk products (AutoCAD, Revit, etc.) are available to students free of charge through Autodesk Education Community; Autodesk software will be used starting with CAD I and throughout the program. Your CAD faculty will provide more details during courses. We do not recommend downloading this software prior to taking these classes, as software upgrades are frequent.
Students are strongly advised to purchase a desktop color printer with scanning capabilities. Printing paper size is 8.5 x 11.
Students are encouraged to find a suitable scanning application that can be added to the phone that they carry.
Students may want to purchase an external hard drive to backup their laptop. Also, have a couple of thumb or flash drives on hand to easily transport information between the computers in the department and your laptop.